• Local students document struggles of Puerto Rican School Children

    By: Ryan Nelson , Action News Jax

    Updated:

    Middle School students at River City Science Academy (RCSA) in Bay Meadows returned from Puerto Rico on Monday. They conducted interviews and captured video of the ongoing recovery effort.

    They’re making a documentary highlighting the stories of children who lost their schools. Hundreds of schools closed their doors on the Island. The students tell Action News Jax the trip left a lasting impression on them.

    “Everyone here would have power,” said Bella Rose, a student at RCSA. “I just feel like we need more quality because it’s still America.”

    They learned those who still have schools to go to consider themselves lucky. 
    “We went to Puerto Rico to kind of get the kids' voice to be heard,” said student Khadim Samba. 

    Many Puerto Ricans displaced by the storm are still calling the mainland home. Laura Ruiz, of Hatillo, Puerto Rico, traveled to Jacksonville in October 2017. She’s been stateside ever since.

    Ruiz tells Action News Jax her home’s electrical system was damaged during the hurricane. She needs the electricity to power her life-saving machines.

    “A priority is the electricity because I am asthmatic,” said Ruiz. 

    She tells us she’s struggling to find the funds and means to repair her home. 

    “I cannot get the money to fix it,” said Ruiz. 

    The students will release their documentary this Fall, documenting the stories of those, like Laura, who continue to rebuild. 

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